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Why Do I Gain Weight?
With the rush of our everyday lives, the advancement of
technology, along with the conveniences of fast food, it sure is
hard to stay active and eat a healthy, balanced diet. But if you
know how to do it, it can be done, even with a busy lifestyle.
In this first section of the book we are going to look at:
All the reasons why we gain weight,
The people we need to talk to when we decide we are ready to
lose the weight,
Why keeping yourself on a schedule actually helps you to lose
Weight loss secrets,
Plus many other subjects that will help you to learn how to
finally take the weight off and keep it off once and for all
The Major Causes Of Weight Gain
* We eat more calories than our body needs in a day, so
the excess gets stored as fat.
Our human bodies are designed in such a
way that when in times it was harder to
get food, our bodies could be prepared by
having stored extra calories in times of
plenty in the form of fat. Now, with the
ease with which we get food, a lot of
people tend to overeat, and this is a
severe problem that causes a huge
number of people to become overweight
* Genetics play a factor as well by setting basic parameters
on the metabolic efficiency of your body.
People who are overweight many times have
very efficient metabolisms, meaning their
body needs less calories per day than others
to operate, and they store the excess calories
as fat. Also you have a greater risk of being
obese if one of your parents are and an even
greater risk if both parents are.
* Your metabolic rate.
Besides genetics, your metabolic rate depends on how active you
are. It is said that every ten years past our mid-twenties we lose
about 10% of our metabolic rate. This probably does not have to
do completely with age, however, but instead with how active we
are. The more active we are, the more muscle mass we can
retain, or even build, and in turn the more fit we are because
muscle tissue is metabolically active whereas fat is not. On the
other hand, if we lead a basically sedentary life, we are much
more likely to be able to gain weight as we lose muscle mass.
* Eating patterns.
People's eating habits make a huge
difference in determining their weight.
When foods high in fat or sugars are
favoured, this of course can cause
much weight gain. Also, how you serve
the food, i.e. do you put the portions on
everyone's plate or do you bring it all to
the table and serve it the food family style where everyone can
take as much as they want? Portion size is one of the main
reasons people eat too much. Also, how have you learned to eat?
If you are a fast eater, you may not even realize the cues your
stomach gives you that it is full.
* Larger portion sizes.
Over time, larger portions of food have become the norm,
especially at many restaurants. Weight has also gone up because
* Exercise or the lack thereof.
Exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle
and to maintaining a healthy weight. When
you exercise, especially when you include
strength training in your workouts, you gain
muscle mass and raise your metabolism and
in turn the muscle helps to burn more fat.
In turn, you will weigh less and you will look
leaner and firmer because muscle takes up
less space than fat. Plus, strength training helps reduce the risk
of accidental injury, improves your bone density, helps with
digestion and helps in lowering your blood pressure, cholesterol
and triglyceride levels.
As you can see, even if your genes make it easier to gain weight
than other people, diet and exercise are the two main factors that
affect your health and weight. Regular exercise is essential to
getting to and maintaining a healthy weight - and so is what you
eat, how you eat and how much you eat.
Learn portion control. This is usually a huge factor for most
people, and they do not realize how much they are actually
eating. A portion of food the size of your fist is generally all that
should be eaten at one time, because that is the size of your
stomach as well.
Eating several small meals a day, rather
than two or three big ones, will help you
to be able to eat less and also not be
hungry in the early days of forming this
habit. Another vitally important thing is to
never skip breakfast, as this sets up your
metabolism for the day. If you don't eat
breakfast, your body will go into defence
mode and store more fat because it will
think you are starving.
Try slowing down your eating as well if
you have the habit of eating fast. This
way you can feel the signals from your
stomach when you have had enough, before you stuff yourself
full. When you have done that, you know for sure you have eaten
too much. In reality, on a scale of 1-10 of fullness, we should feel
right in the middle, around a 5, when we are done eating. It
takes some practice, but you can learn this trick and you will feel
so much better knowing you did not stuff yourself to the
Another thing to watch of course is your
intake of fatty and sugary foods. We all
need nutrients, including healthy fats,
to keep us balanced, but eating a lot of
junk food and sugary drinks will
attribute greatly to us gaining more
weight. Processed foods don't generally
have a lot of nutrients in them, or any
at all, and they are high in salt, sugar,
and unhealthy fats.
In today's busy lifestyles, we may not realize how often we are
eating these foods. If you are one who is always ordering out for
work, or going out to dinner as well, this is not going to keep you
healthy because you do not have the control as to what is being
put in your food (except special ordering at a restaurant) and it is
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